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Mother's Day Brunch

A beautiful Brunch table set with Ina Garten staples.

As many of you know, my mom Barbara has been Ina Garten’s assistant for more than 20 years. What started as a part-time job working on The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook turned into an exciting, life-changing career and unique friendship. Last week my mom and I decided to have an early Mother’s Day brunch and cook together. Whenever my mother visits, we cook. Mother’s Day is no exception - she has so much wisdom in the kitchen and I’m always learning from her. We laugh and chat. If I happen to rush through things or get ahead of myself, my mom gives me the “that’s not how Ina does it” line. It’s wonderful. 

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Holiday Cookie Baking

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…cookie baking time! I love baking for the holidays, it just gets me in the giving spirit. This year I invited a few friends (including my baking hero George Waldron) to come over and decorate cookies. We snacked on some appetizers from Ina Garten’s new cookbook and learned some simple, easy tips to decorate cookies like a pro! 

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Ina's Decadent (Gluten Free) Chocolate Cake

We’re going through some diet trial and error here at Cassandra’s Kitchen. I was recently diagnosed with Lyme Disease and it was recommended that I eat gluten free to combat inflammation (it's working!!).  For the time being I'm eating gluten free and Cindy has been gluten free for years, so it seemed appropriate to share Ina Garten’s incredible Decadent (Gluten Free!) Chocolate Cake (it’s so good, you’ll say ‘gluten who?’).

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Lemon Garlic Shrimp - Sheet Pan Dinner

We are having a great summer, but we are busy. Traveling, camp, sports - lots of proverbial balls in the air and unfortunately, cooking a legit family dinner doesn't take top priority. Earlier this year I came across a list of ways to help simplify family routines and address the 'what’s for dinner' conundrum. Through that article, I found some recipes for easy sheet pan dinners – one pan, minimal ingredients and a healthy tasty dinner for my family. Perfect for a busy summer. This lemon garlic shrimp and asparagus was the first one I tried and it’s been a hit, so I decided to share. I’m on the hunt for more sheet pan dinner winners – so please leave us your thoughts and suggestions!

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Strawberry Season



It’s strawberry season. Last year we attempted strawberry jam (I promise we will try it again with my mom’s supervision!). This year, after grabbing our haul from Maple Acres Farm, we decided on strawberry shortcakes and Ina Garten’s fruit tart! George came back to give us his baking tips and enjoy the deliciousness of our favorite summer fruit.

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Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes

I had such a good time baking and decorating with my friend George, that I decided to do a second installment of Baking with George! This time I'm sharing these amazing S’mores Cupcakes. They are so special and were so much fun to make. My family loves old fashioned s’mores and the cupcake version is just as good! 

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Baking with George & Cassandra

I’ve always loved baking but I’ve never been adventurous with it. I love making birthday cakes for my family (they're usually pretty basic), and I’ve always wanted to elevate my decorating game. I see all these beautiful cakes that look simple to create, and they never turn out the way I want. Through Instagram, I found that my hairdresser George dabbled in baking and cake decorating - I saw his Sprinkle Cake and immediately wanted to try it! Last week George came over to Cassandra’s Kitchen to bake and decorate with me. It was a game changer. So easy and so much fun! Now I'm super excited to try new things with my baking and decorating!

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In The Kitchen - Healthy-ish Muffins

Muffins. Not always the most exciting thing going on in our kitchen, but my family has grown to love them – even the ‘healthy’ ones. As I’ve mentioned before (many, many times) I do my best to offer my children healthy options when it comes to meals and snacks. But I am not a short order cook, and unfortunately we don’t live on an organic produce farm. Also, my kids like cake and donuts and anything that is offered in ‘snack size’. That’s why I am so into these muffin recipes. Lucky for you, I’m sharing our favorite recipes here!

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Cassandra's Year Of Birthday Cakes

Cassandra's Year Of Birthday Cakes

In 2017 I made a little deal with myself, I wanted to make all of my family’s birthday cakes (thanks, Ina Garten and Barefoot Contessa for the inspiration). I enjoy baking with my kids and thought that letting them help with their own cakes would create some great memories and foster their love for cooking and baking. The birthday cakes weren’t perfect works of art, but they were prepared with love - so they tasted even better!

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Holiday Gift Guide with @StoreBoughtIsFine

Holiday Gift Guide with @StoreBoughtIsFine

Sneaking in one more post with Trent from @StoreBoughtIsFine before the end of the year. He's got a lot of friends and a lot of great gift ideas. After reading this blog, you'll wish you were on his 'nice' list. Happy Holidays and Happy Gifting..

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